PhD position on economic modeling of climate change mitigation, and analysing climate change impacts on economic growth

Application Deadline: 06 May 2018

The climate needs bright minds. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) addresses crucial scientific questions in the fields of global change, climate impacts and sustainable development. It is one of the world’s leading research institutions in its field and offers natural and social scientists from around the world an inspiring environment for excellent interdisciplinary research. PIK’s historic science campus on Telegrafenberg Potsdam is within 30 minutes commuting distance of Berlin.

For our Growth & Development flagship project PIK is offering

1 PhD position on economic modeling of climate change mitigation, and analysing climate change impacts on economic growth

starting in fall 2018.

Reference: RD3-Macro-15-2018

The position is funded for 3 years and are part of the BMBF project “ROCHADE”. Remuneration is in accordance with German public tariff scheme (TV-L Brandenburg), salary group E 13 (65 %). The position is a full-time position with a weekly working time of 40 hours. Appointment is conditional on approval by the funding agency.

Key responsibilities:

  • The successful candidate will be working in a project on the interaction of structural change and climate change mitigation, on economic impacts of climate change and distributional consequences.
  • Investigation of novel concepts for estimating climate change impacts on economic growth, and accounting for climate damages in household models as well as integrated energy-economy-landuse-climate models;
  • Development of a multi-sectoral growth model to study conceptually as well as numerically the interaction of structural change and economic growth with climate change and climate change mitigation policies.


  • Master’s Degree in Economics, Physics, Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, System Sciences or a related field,
  • expertise in economic growth theory or economic analysis of inequality or empirical work on economic impacts of climate change, respectively,
  • training in formal, quantitative methods, excellent analytical skills and interest in theoretical and applied modeling (programming skills in R or GAMS are an advantage).

We expect:

  • strong motivation and good organizational skills,
  • team orientation,
  • strong communication skills in English; the working language at PIK is English.

The successful candidate will be working in the integrate assessment and macroeconomic modeling group of PIK’s Research Domain 3 “Sustainable Solutions”. PhD students will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer (Chair of Research Domain III and Professor of Economics of Climate Change at the Technische Universität Berlin).

We offer

  • an inspiring, international and interdisciplinary work environment in one of the world’s leading research institutes on climate change mitigation and impact research
  • high-impact research: PIK researchers publish in renowned international journals
  • participation in solution-oriented research in projects with several German and international partners and with immediate policy relevance and impact on international assessments such as IPCC reports
  • opportunities for cooperation with PIK’s national and international network of leading climate & economic research institutes and think tanks
  • a structured PhD programme with supervision agreements, a supervision team, reporting obligations, a career development plan, a mediator team and an interdisciplinary education programme.

PIK seeks to increase the share of women in scientific positions and therefore explicitly encourage women to apply. In cases of equal qualification and within the given legal scope, women will be given preference. Applications by persons with a migration background, provided they fulfill the conditions for appointment, are expressly encouraged. Applications of disabled persons with equal qualifications will be regarded favourably. PIK is also encouraging applications by parents returning from parental leave within the availability of financial resources.

Application documents should comprise a letter of motivation including research interests, a CV with the contact details of two referees, certificates, detailed transcripts of university grades, a sample of your work (e.g., term paper, thesis or journal publication) and a publication list (for Postdoc applications). Please send your full application as a single PDF document by email to

quoting the reference RD3-Macro-15-2018 and mentioning where you read about the position. Applications will be accepted until position is filled, but need to be submitted by May 6th to be considered in the initial selection process. The size of the file should not exceed 15 MB.

For further informationen or to discuss the position please contact Dr. Elmar Kriegler () and Dr. Marian Leimbach ().